I like themes of trusting in God and living courageously for God. In fact, in an upcoming book, not this one, my main theme is "whom shall I fear." This is a man who is newly Christian and he keeps feeling like a coward so he recites this like a mantra ‘whom shall I fear’ to remind himself that God is in control.
In Nosy in Nebraska my heroine in the first book is terrified of mice. Every time she jumps and screams the first rational thought that comes to her mind is "Forgive me." Because she believes being afraid of mice is a sin because it’s so stupid. Her hero doesn’t ever teach her to get over the phobia, but he does help her accept it as part of who she is and not a sin.
What other books of yours are coming out soon?
Nosy in Nebraska just released.
I’ve got a July released which is the first of a new series. The series is Montana Marriages, the book is called Montana Rose.
Then I’ve got a Cowboy Christmas coming in November.
If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
Tricky question, Lena. I wonder who it would be WISE to spend the evening with.
Most of my celebrity like heroes, I suspect wouldn’t be as much fun as I’d hope. I think I’ll keep the rose colored glasses on them.
I had a great lunch with Stephanie Grace Whitson a while back. So wonderful to spend time with someone this excited about writing and the Lord. Wonderful combination.
How about you, Lena. Even at conferences we don’t spend that much time together. I’ll pick you.
I'd love to spend time with you, Mary. Maybe we can at conference in Colorado. How long have you known that you wanted to be novelist?
Well, I look back now and see writing all through my life. My children’s baby books are covered with writing, more than pictures. So I think of myself as a writer. It’s more than something I do. It’s what I am.
I started seriously writing a book, with the hope of publication, when my youngest daughter went to Kindergarten. She’s twenty now.
What can you tell authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
I think, get tough or get out. That’s about all I can say. The writing life is full of rejection. If it hurts too much, get away from it, because you have to endure it in order to be a published author.
If you’re like me and can’t really stop, then you’re kind of trapped. You have to write and you hate the pain of rejection, then I’d find a way to either get tough, or start focusing on a type of writing that will earn you so acceptance. Get a job at a newspaper. Start a blog and pour your love of writing into that. Write for your church newsletter. These different forms of writing can also be a stepping stone to publishing a book. So they aren’t even a detour, they can be part of the journey.
What I’ve started to realize is that having a book out there in the world is so laden with emotion. Highs and lows. I’m really great. I stink. It’s a roller coaster ride and the best you can do is try not to let it make you crazy. Don’t let the lows destroy you, and don’t get full of yourself during the highs.
Tell us about the featured book.
Nosy in Nebraska is an anthology of three cozy mysteries.
OF MICE...AND MURDER
Being named in Great-grandma’s will was like hitting bankrupt on Wheel of Fortune. The whole family held their breath while the wheel ticked around and around, or rather while the lawyer opened the envelope. Then they all heaved a sigh of relief when the wheel stopped on Carrie’s name. Carrie the heiress. Great. Clean up the house. Clean up the yard. Clean up Great-grandma’s rap sheet.
Carrie hates mice and loves the big city. So why is she living in a huge mouse infested house in her dinky hometown? The dead guy in her pantry closet is the most interesting thing that's happened since she came home. Of course the carpenter who's helping her trap her mice and solve the crime is pretty interesting, too.
PRIDE AND PESTILENCE
Joe Manning comes to town to finally meet his deadbeat dad, only to find his father has been murdered.
Bonnie is attacked while she's at work in the Melnik Historical Society Museum, proud home of Maxie the World's Largest Field Mouse. Only her attacker now claims it was an accident, and he claims he's never seen the guy before who's dead in Bonnie's store room.
Bonnie wants to be suspicious but once he stopped attacking her he turns out to be pretty sweet. And lots of people had a motive to kill Sven Gunderson - including Bonnie herself. Gunderson, the true owner of Maxie, wanted his mouse back.
In Melnik, that means war!
THE MICEMAN COMETH
Tyler Simpson is opening a new law office and he's home to stay.
The very British Dr. Madeline Stuart is writing an anthropology doctoral thesis about a small town that worships an oversized rodent. Success with her project should lead to her dream job, a full professorship at Oxford... even better, a guest shot on Oprah.
When a body falls out of a cupboard in Tyler's law office, clutching Maddy's necklace in his cold, dead fingers, Maddy gets arrested and Tyler is appointed her attorney.
But once Tyler finds out Maddy's here to betray his beloved Melnik, he isn't giving her his best effort.
And someone out there thinks blaming the murder on Maddy would be a perfect solution to his own problems. And Maddy's more likely to cooperate with being framed - if she's dead.
Maxie the World's Largest Field Mouse must come through one more time to thwart the criminal in his peaceful, if someone mouse-obsessed, hometown.
I can hardly wait to read the series. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Mary, thank you for this wonderful interview.
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